Roughly 12 minutes into his news conference Friday afternoon, Thunder general manager Sam Presti became teary eyed while discussing the departure of forward Jeff Green.
"I have unbelievable respect for Jeff Green. I value him greatly â€¦" Presti said, his voice tailing off.
Just five minutes earlier, Presti was smiling at the thought of having 6-foot-10, 280-pound center Kendrick Perkins in a Thunder uniform.
One day after the NBA trade deadline, emotions were still a little raw for those involved.
Friday was Presti's first opportunity to publicly discuss trades which sent Green, center Nenad Krstic and the Los Angeles Clippers' 2012 first-round pick the Thunder owned to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Perkins and guard Nate Robinson. The Thunder also traded guard Morris Peterson and forward D.J. White to Charlotte for center Nazr Mohammed.
"Yesterday was exciting, but (it) also was a difficult day for our team," Presti said. "Clearly, when you have guys leave your organizations â€¦ it's never easy."
All three newcomers arrived in Oklahoma City on Friday and will be available for interviews after practice Saturday. If the players are permitted to practice, that means the trades have been finalized.
Robinson and Mohammed could be available when the Thunder plays the Los Angeles Lakers inside Oklahoma City Arena on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
However, Perkins is expected to miss one week with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. He had surgery to his right knee last July to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in Game 6 of last year's NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
When Perkins is healthy, the Thunder's starting lineup is expected to be Russell Westbrook at point guard, Thabo Sefolosha at shooting guard, Kevin Durant at small forward, Serge Ibaka at power forward and Perkins at center.
The Thunder began this season as the league's third-youngest team and its starting lineup becomes even younger with the additions of the 26-year-old Perkins and the infusion of the 21-year-old Ibaka.
Ibaka's continued emergence helped make Thursday's trades possible.
"I don't think Serge is a driving factor necessarily," Presti said.
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